Sorry for burning the house down, the note read. I know this (expensive) bottle of wine won’t even begin to make up for it, but it’s really just a very small tiny way to say that I am so so sorry for what happened. I still can’t believe it. I know you must be in shock too, of course. Have a glass of vino on me. 

Needless to say, I’m still glad I told you the truth and didn’t act like it was an electric fire or that lightening struck or that it was some gas leak or something–I told you the truth, even though it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life (as you know, there have been some bad times). It was my fault. I feel terrible. That stupid cigarette. I was sure I put it out, but when I saw the flames coming near that waste basket, I knew, I knew it. It spread so fast. I tried to stop it. It was terrible. A terrible accident. You know, I hardly even smoke anymore. But that’s the only bit of comfort I have from the whole situation–I didn’t lie to you. 

I know it’s too fresh and raw for you to get philosophical about this, but possessions can really weigh us down in this life. It’s something I’ve been thinking about. I feel like I’ve known you long enough (college roomie!) to say that maybe in time you will see what happened as a good thing. A chance to begin fresh. To start over. To cleanse. To become zen. You’re always talking about becoming zen. Maybe this is the universe’s way of forcing you to become zen. I’m not suggesting it will feel this way to you now. But maybe this will be a freeing experience in the end. I know with the stuff I lost in the fire (that really awesome cashmere sweater, for example–my fav!) I had to take a deep breath and say, Girl, it’s only a sweater. Just a sweater (just a house?). You still have your life, your looks, it’s only a bit of cloth that can be easily replaced. This is what I told myself. Maybe someday (I don’t expect it) you will say, Thank you, Amy, for burning down the house. Anyways, I’m not even suggesting that this is the way you should feel. I would never tell you how to feel in such a terrible situation as this. You must process this on your own terms. 

It’s crazy, I came to stay with you for three days and this happens. My God, just as we were really connecting again, after that whole crazy situation with Brian (which is over, forgiven, and forgotten about–nothing more to say about it). We were having such a brilliant time together. I’m so sorry that it had to end. I hope we can connect the same way again soon. 

Anyways, by the time you read this in your hotel room I will be on the train home. I won’t be around as a reminder of the terrible tragedy that just happened. You can focus on rebuilding your life with Brian. And the house. You guys still have the blueprints of your designs, right? That should make things easier to rebuild, I’m guessing (I don’t know, I’m not an architect!). Or maybe you can do some traveling with the insurance money (thank God for insurance, right?). Who knows, maybe home ownership is overrated. When you get a new cell phone call me, okay? All my love.